Roberts Mart & Co has added a major beverage company in Iceland to a developing portfolio of European customers for its compostable packaging. As the drive towards more sustainable solutions for the food and drink sector gathers pace, the specialist printed flexible packaging company is responding with greener alternatives to mixed plastics.
A leader in its field, the award-winning Yorkshire-based firm is supplying Iceland’s biggest coffee brand and roastery, Te & Kaffi, with compostable printed packaging for an extensive range of coffee pads, beans and granules. The deal is worth £350,000 a year to Roberts Mart. This is an expanding market for the firm with compostable packaging exports currently in the region of £750,000 plus annually.
Currently supplying compostable packaging to companies in France, Belgium and Spain, Roberts Mart is also talking to potential customers in Germany and Switzerland as well as the UK. That’s not all. It’s also receiving enquiries for recyclable products from firms both at home and on the continent.
Simon Roberts, Commercial Director at Roberts Mart, says: “It’s a challenging market but our sustainable products are being very well received as they fit in with the climate the customers are operating in. It’s an ongoing relationship with Te & Kaffi and they now consider us as their number one supplier – after the materials they buy for the coffee itself!”
He believes there’s a real synergy between the two companies as they are both independent businesses. Te & Kaffi’s Production Manager, Stefán u.Wernersson, agrees. He was hugely impressed when he visited Roberts Mart’s state-of-the-art facility on the outskirts of Leeds to see the packaging process.
He explains: “We had been looking for compostable material for our packaging for a long time and always had issues with the right barrier on this type of material. Roberts Mart delivered exactly what we wanted and, after trials, offered the right packaging solution for our needs. We now have a circular solution in Iceland where packaging from us goes into a local industrial compost facility that produces methane gas for us to roast more coffee!”
The fact that Roberts Mart does everything in-house so has full quality control was also a clincher for Te & Kaffi, which has more substantial orders in the pipeline. The coffee roaster may be Roberts Mart’s first customer in Iceland but probably won’t be the last. Te & Kaffi would like more companies to follow its lead in compostable packaging and will recommend its packaging partner.
A six-generation family run business, Roberts Mart’s spectacular growth and success is definitely down to its independence, which means the company has the ability to react quickly to changing markets. This has been recognised by a plethora of industry awards.
Roberts Mart is committed to reducing the impact of its products on the environment with an ongoing sustainability drive that includes supplying films and pouches that can be completely biodegradable or recyclable through a household bin.